Thursday

"What are 5 major reasons we pray?"

By Paul Dion, STL

Brothers and Sisters,This question is meant to plunge you into a mood of "snuggling up to God." The "Catechism of the Catholic Church" devotes 60 plus pages to this topic, so I know that we will not exhaust it here. I also know that your answers will not contain erroneous statements or opinions. The reason why I am challenging you with this question is that I want to provoke you to realize in a special way what it means to have a relationship with God.

Here is the question:

What is prayer in general? What are the five major reasons why we pray? These five elements are all contained in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, by the way.

This is not a pop quiz - there are no pass or fail marks. Nor is this an intellectual exercise. It is a mere opportunity to look into your hearts and let your spirituality speak out.

If you are too shy, you can always post anonymously.

8 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:37 PM

    Well, prayer to me is a constant conversation with God. I have been in 'prayer' with Him since a little child and it never ceases to amaze me how well He takes care of me. He is always with me, in good times and in bad, but the 'conversation' is one sided at times and He waits patiently while I figure things out, then He will guide me in the way I should go. The older I get, the more He is my rock, my shield and if I wasn't so 'human', I would never stumble. Alas, I am a work in progress. Sometimes, I feel as though I can put my head on the shoulder of Jesus and just stay that way forever...
    One day...

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  2. Anonymous9:39 PM

    Well, Praise is one. We are made in the image and likeness of God and we are so wonderfully made and are given so much on this earth, that praise is a must!
    Thanksgiving of course. God loved us even before we were 'knit' in our mother's womb and thanking Him is the least we can do. And in giving us His Son Jesus to be our savior and giving us a chance to.
    Petition is asking for what we need but accepting that God might not give what we ask for, but trusting Him to give us what we need instead. His will be done.
    Forgiveness is asking the Father's forgiveness for sins that we commit against God and our neighbor and then we are once more in union with God.

    I don't know the 5th! What is it? I don't want to wait! (Could it be asking for patience?)

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  3. Paul Dion, STL9:48 PM

    PARISHWORLD RECAP OF THE BURNING QUESTION
    By Paul Dion, STL

    This is an interesting question because everyone thinks that the answer to the question is evident to all who believe in God, even if only in foxholes. I will therefore take a few moments of yours to tickle your curiosity about something a little more complex than praying in foxholes.

    The first answer I get to the question is similar to the one that you see above, "it is a conversation with God".
    Actually, that is partly true. I don't want you to think that after you're read my comments that you will have the whole truth. I just hope that you'll have a larger piece of the partial truth.

    Reasons to pray:

    1. Adoration (Praise; worship): (Remember that prayer can be either public (Liturgy) or private.

    "Adoration is the first act of the virtue of religion. To adore God is to acknowledge Him as God, as the Creator and as the Savior, the Lord and Master of everything that exists, as infinite and merciful love. 'You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve,' says Jesus quoting Deuteronomy, chapter 6, verses 3 and 4. "To adore God is to acknowledge in respect and absolute submission, the 'nothingness of the creature' who would not exist but for God.
    "The worship of the one God sets humans free from turning in on themselves, from the slavery of sin and the idolatry of the world." (The Catechiism of the Catholic Church, # 2096 under the heading Adoration. This the Catechism promulgated by Pope John Paul II, 1992.

    Prayer can be made directly to God, or Indirectly to God through imminent created realities like the Church, the Sacraments, etc.

    2. Petition for forgiveness:
    There are many prayers that are a petition for forgiveness in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the sacraments and the Bible. Remember that the petition for forgiveness must be accompanied by a sincere resolve not to eliminate sin from our lives.

    3. Petition for necessities (and wants) of life, both spiritual (prayers and blessings) and material goods:
    We do this at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and during the Our Father.

    4. Intercession (A special kind of petition) where we pray that God will help someone else dear to us, or convert someone whom we believe to be on the path away from God:
    This we also do at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and during the Our Father and the Hail Mary.

    5. Thanksgiving:
    This is also an important part of the prayer at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

    ---------------------------------
    Let's consider the "conversation" part of the definition.

    One of the interesting things that happens during prayer is that we think that we have to do all the talking. We get wrapped up in adoring, thanking, asking, interceding, explaining and wondering where we a minute ago,
    that we forget to listen.

    Ah, Ha, listen. It is so easy to forget that conversations are two way streets. We forget to let God get a word in edgewise. In order to do this we have to turn our mind, heart and soul over to Him for a while.

    Can you imagine what would have happened to the Bible if the writer of the Bible hadn't let God inspire them with His message? What if they simply kept talking to Him all the time? They would never have had the creative energy nor the time to write for us like He wanted them to do. So hey, give God a break.

    He wants to talk to you. He's good at it.

    "Sometimes, I feel as though I can put my head on the shoulder of Jesus and just stay that way forever..."
    Do you remember that sentence from the answer above? This is also prayer. Your in your quiet prayer corner, you've let David's psalms get to you, so you've closed the book and there you are sitting alone and you can actually feel that you are leaning on Him.

    Instead of reacting and thinking t hat you're crazy and losing it, just relax and listen. The most you have to say is, "Yes, Lord, I'm here."

    This the way God speaks to His saints. This the Garden of Eden before the fig leaf. You feel the rustle in the wind and before you know it, you're being rocked in the bosom of the Lord.

    I know, you're saying that I'm putting you on. Nope. This is prayer in its purest form. It is called meditation and is the threshold of contemplation which is one step higher.

    It is not given to everyone because not everyone practices prayer. I don't know why not. It shouldn't be hard to forget, after all it is an exercise mentioned by the first commandment. But more than that, it is such a liberating spiritual relationship.

    It is my prayer for you all that you will seat your relationship with God in solid prayer practices, both public and private.

    This is part one (1) concerning prayer. It is the one that points in the direction of God Himself.

    Part two (2) will take us down the path of prayer to God through the Church, the saints and devotional practices.

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  4. Anonymous2:12 PM

    Prayer is our way of conversing with Our Lord here on earth until we are with Him in Heaven.

    Five reasons why we pray could include spending time with someone whom we love, who loves us in return without restriction. To thank our loved one for past favors. To ask a favor from our loved one. To ask forgiveness from our loved one. To share a love that is realized not only through words, but a feeling in our heart. A silent prayer, understood only between two souls whose love is understood between them, and for which no other explanation is possible or necessary.

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  5. Anonymous2:25 PM

    Prayer is our way of conversing with Our Lord here on earth until we are with Him in Heaven.
    Five reasons why we pray could include spending time with someone whom we love, who loves us in return without restriction. To thank our loved one for past favors. To ask a favor from our loved one. To ask forgiveness from our loved one. To share a love that is realized not only through words, but a feeling in our heart. A silent prayer, understood only between two souls whose love is understood between them, and for which no other explanation is possible or necessary.

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  6. Anonymous4:10 PM

    Prayer is our way of conversing with Our Lord here on earth until we are with Him in Heaven.

    Five reasons why we pray could include spending time with someone whom we love, who loves us in return without restriction. To thank our loved one for past favors. To ask a favor from our loved one. To ask forgiveness from our loved one. To share a love that is realized not only through words, but a feeling in our heart. A silent prayer, understood only between two souls whose love is understood between them, and for which no other explanation is possible or necessary.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Five reasons why we pray could include spending time with someone whom we love, who loves us in return without restriction. To thank our loved one for past favors. To ask a favor from our loved one. To ask forgiveness from our loved one. To share a love that is realized not only through words, but a feeling in our heart. A silent prayer, understood only between two souls whose love is understood between them, and for which no other explanation is possible or necessary.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Efren3:05 PM

    The simplest answer I could think is because we have a relationship with God.

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